Family and friends of two Mount Pleasant teens incarcerated for armed robbery want to change South Carolina's sentencing laws to keep youths who commit serious crimes from being sent to adult prisons.
Supporters of Sean Shevlino and Mike Anthony are mounting petition drives, wearing T-shirts and starting Web sites to draw attention to what they consider an unjust system that sent the two high school students to prison for 10 years.
Some supporters also have set their sights on defeating 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, who prosecuted the case. Wilson faces a June Republican primary against former Deputy Solicitor Blair Jennings.
Shevlino, 17, and Anthony, 19, were among 10 Wando High students arrested in 2006 in the armed robberies of a Food Lion supermarket and a Subway sandwich shop.
Their attorneys resisted Wilson's offer of 10 years in prison on the crimes, but the teens eventually gave in and pleaded guilty last month after their co- defendants acknowledged guilt and agreed to testify against them.
It took a gang of ten to hold up a Food Lion and Subway?!? Somehow, we don't think that's gonna make them sound too big, bad, and intimidating when the lights go out in their cellblocks at night.
People like this usually demand the inner-city hoodlum who sells their kids drugs or holds them up at the mall be shown no mercy, so why should they expect to be treated any differently? If ten years in prison is good enough for the poor kid who holds up a store on Spruill Avenue in North Charleston (who will usually get more than 10 years), it should certainly apply to someone who does it in Mount Pleasant.
While they're out raising money for their t-shirts and websites to tell us how the rules that apply to the rest of us shouldn't apply to them, maybe they can spare a little change to help Doc Norris, a nearby armed robbery victim who took a shotgun blast to the face. He may not be from their part of town, but he could sure use some help:
A bank account established to help the family pay Norris' mounting medical bills grew to more than $4,000 with donations from across the Lowcountry.
Judy Norris said her husband's health remains fragile, but his overall outlook has improved dramatically since last year, when she and other family members wondered if he would live to see Christmas.
Today, Norris eats through a feeding tube. He subsists on seven vanilla-flavored nutrition shakes a day. The steady diet has restored some of his strength as he pushes through the final rounds of chemotherapy.
If the treatments sideline the cancer, MUSC doctors will consider finishing the facial and dental reconstruction.
- Support, gratitude pour in over shooting victim's story, Post & Courier, 5/21/07
Justice is best left served blindly and equitably ... and sometimes coldly too, so as to give others who think that committing violent crimes against society is mere fun and games a little something to think about.